• Joe Broback

D’Eriq King proving Group of 5 talent can elevate Power 5 talent

“Wait until he does that against an actual team.”

“It’s different playing against Power 5 teams.”

“He can’t throw.”

D’Eriq King chose to transfer from Houston to Miami this offseason, and the excitement was also met with doubt. There’s been tension between the Power 5 and Group of 5 conferences, and King’s arrival in Coral Gables sparked yet another debate. Fans of the ACC were insistent that King would not be successful with his new team, but his play continues to prove the doubters wrong, and is yet another example of G5 players being able to compete with Power 5 talent.

I’ll admit, D’Eriq King isn’t your average Group of 5 player. He’s a special talent. One that produced 50 total touchdowns in 2018, one of three quarterbacks to do it that year (Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray were the other two). A true dual threat, King brought an electric running style to the Hurricanes with a solid arm, but people dismissed his abilities because he came from the AAC. We’re already seeing that he’s capable of competing at any level, and not just with his legs.

I understand that this is just one play from a Clemson win, but it’s proof that King can play against anyone. In this game in particular, King wasn’t even close to the problem for the Miami offense. In fact, the Canes are lucky that he didn’t get hurt with the number of hits he took on top of an inability to even look downfield without a man in his face. This play showed his athleticism, and is an example of what he can do regardless of the guys lined up across from him.

When you watched King run at Houston, it was obvious that he was the best player on the field athletically, and that’s what’s made Miami a better team. I wrote about that earlier this year, as the one thing that would help the Canes if their offensive line struggled was a quarterback that can bail them out and be a big time threat as a runner. It just came down to how well King could throw the football on top of that, and he’s proving that he can sling it like some of the best quarterbacks in the country.

I don’t care who’s doing it, this throw by King is an elite throw for anyone. To throw a football from the hash to the opposite sideline in that tight of window will catch the eye of anyone at the next level. King not only throws the ball away from the nickelback which gives Dee Wiggins more room to catch it, but he also throws it over the cornerback who’s dropping back to try and undercut the throw. Since the ball is put in the perfect spot, it goes right over the outstretched hand of the corner, and Wiggins makes the catch and keeps his feet in play. These are the throws that King can make, which has not only elevated the Miami offense, but also given NFL scouts something to think about for the future.

What does D’Eriq King do after this? An NFL future is definitely in play, and his ability to throw the football better makes him an intriguing prospect. His play also is a reminder that kids at the “smaller schools” can play with anyone. They just need the chance. All King heard coming to south Florida was how he wouldn’t be successful, and Miami finds itself 7-1 and King getting the respect he deserves. It’s not that you’re wrong if you think these kids can’t compete at a higher level (you are, but that’s not the point), you’re just missing out on the fun. D’Eriq King is a special talent, and he’s proving that Group of 5 talent can make Power 5 teams better. You just have to give them a chance.

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